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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 2001 (DOST Vol. IX).

Species, Space(i)(s, Spece(i)(s, n. sing. and pl. Also: spece(i)s, speace(i)s, spacies, spaice(s, spes. [ME and e.m.E. spece (Manning), speces (pl. 1357), spiece (Gower), species (sing. and pl. 1551), speece (1637), species's (1661), OF espece (c1265 in Larousse), L. speciēs f. specere to look, behold.]It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between sing. and pl. The pl. of space, spece may be intended, or, an apparent pl. may be a variant of species which has the same form in both sing. and pl.. For this reason no divisions on this basis have been attempted.

1. A class, sort or kind (of something material or non-material).(1) 1559 Reg. Episc. Aberd. I lxxxviii.
Deliverd … in custody … the species following … a great eucharist double our gilt … Vestments [etc.] … For the altare [etc.]
1649 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. I 436, 437.
Albeit every particular spece were contained therein [sc. in the testament], it would ofttimes come to the division of a certain body spece betwixt her executor and the husband … the wife's heirship … hath been out of the communion of goods with her husband, who had delivered to the suspender such and such speces; whereof the charger craves the best in ilk kind
1681 Stair Inst. ii i § 41.
There remains to be cleared, that appropriation which is by specification, whereby, of materials belonging to other owners, a new species is produced, whether the product belongs to the owners of the materials, or to him for whom the work is made
1681 Stair Inst. ii i § 41.
Malting of barley, or dying of cloth, or the like, which change not the species
(2) 1606 Acts IV 324/2.
Oure souerane lord … declaris all sic factis and deidis … to be ane expres spes and kynd of dilapidatioun
1645 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 42.
Dam Margaret Ker … intromissatrix with the particullar species of airship undirwrittin
1645 Aberd. Sheriff Ct. III 45.
The defender [should be] decernit to delyuer the species of airship lybellit
1650 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. I 456.
The act of oblivion freed all such wrongous intromission … which was sustained, for the speces and quantity of goods contained in those warrants
(3) 1626 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 11.
The maister of his maiesties cuneehous was ordaint … to sight the vre being in the Flemis ship … and that suche particular spaceis of the same be delyverit to the … maister Cunyear as he shall think good

b. An example of a group or class. 1690 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Deeds II 406.
[They ordain sasine to be given to the said James by delivery of] ane species of each kynd [of the foresaid goods and gear]

c. Payment in kind. = Kind n. 8 a. 1671 M. P. Brown Suppl. Decis. II 572.
The Lords found an offer of silver plate to the value of the sum owing, was not relevant to impede a comprising of lands, because it was not argentum signatum; and it is species and illiquid, and so cannot compense or pay

2. A type or sort (of coin, money, etc.); a denomination of coinage. Cf. Specie n.(1) 1631 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 25.
That they … make returne … in his majesteis awne proper coyne or in the forrane speces … at the pryces … following viz. the Spanish pistolet … foure punds sevin shillings sax penneis, the Frenche crowne [etc.]
1675 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. IV 360.
That the officers of the Mint shall not coyne in every jornall of four stain weight above four pound weight in that species
1690 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 227.
Every on of the said fyve severall species is to have our effigies's with the following inscriptione
1690 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 227.
The inscriptione … is to serve for the other four lesser species's
1690 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 227.
These two larger speceis's are to be lettered round the edges with the motto or inscriptione [etc.]
1695 Proclam. Rate Money 12 July.
The foresaid species and coyns
(b) 1560–1 Reg. Privy S. V i 190/1.
Harbert sal be haldin to mak gude … coimptrole of the gold and silver that sal be brocht in the cunyehous alswele of the spaces, werk, wecht, [etc.]
1591–2 Reg. Privy C. IV 715.
Na gold sal have course … except the following spacies … viz. [etc.]
c1597 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I xciv.
Quhat sall ilk space of that fynnes be worth
1612 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I xcix.
The spaices of the same fynes ar the kingis lyoun noble [etc.]
1639 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 112.
The spaces to be coinyied shall be croune peices ½ croune [etc.]
(2) 1597 Aberd. Council Lett. I 72.
Ane auttentik table to be maid … contening the particular pryces of all speceis of forayne gold and silver usuallie inbrocht within this cuntrey
1619 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 239.
The diuersitie and nomebar of forreyne speaceis of gold and siluer
1661 Aberd. Council Lett. IV 128.
Thair was somequhat spoken for the heighting of the speaces of moneys bot nothing concluded
1663 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 149.
That the species of money after following should be coined, viz. one penny of silver of the value of four merks, ane other penny [etc.]
1675 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. IV 359.
[The coins] to be delyvered to the graver of the Mint that he might prepare dyes and matrices for the saids species of coyne
1690 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 227.
Warrands … for coyning fyve severall species of silver coyne after mentioned, … the fyve species's are to be a sixtie shilling Scots peace … a fourtie shilling Scots peece [etc.]
(b) 1591 Acts III 526/1.
The diuersitie and chois of sindry space of money current within [this realm]
1591 Acts III 526/1.
In ressauing and geving furth … all spaces of gold and siluer
1591 Acts III 526/1.
The haill siluer and allayed money … salbe reduceit and strickin in ane siluer space of money of the fynes of [etc.]
1591 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I 177.
1596 Edinb. Test. XXIX 241.
The spaceis of gold and siluer efter specefeit
1598 Acts IV 175/2.
The particular spaces and peces of forayne gold and siluer salhaif cours and pas vpoun the pryces following
1612 Cochran-Patrick Coinage I c.
The space of forane money maid current … The Spanis ryall [etc.]
1633 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 99.
The meines to rectifie the errour [in value] is to reduce the spaice of money to the rate it passes for in Ingland
1646 Edinb. Test. LXII 169b.
Certane quyt money and diverse spaces of gold

3. a. The physical form of the elements of the Eucharist, under the species (spece) of bread and wine. b. The visible or apparent form or image of (something or someone).a. 1602 Colville Paraenese 70.
To eat and drink really his blessed body and blood heir on erth vnder the spece or form of bread and vyne as he did test in his latter vill
1637 Gillespie Eng. Pop. Ceremonies iii ii 34.
Now that which was under the species, though in their conceit it was Christs body, yet it was indeed bread
b. Urquhart Rabelais i xliv.
As if they had seen the very proper species and forme of death before their eyes
1691 Il Capellano delle Fate 322.
The species of an absent friend which appears to the seer … is no fantastic shadow of a sick apprehensione, but a realitie

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"Species n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 14 Aug 2022 <>



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